As a member of the Police & Crime Panel tasked to scrutinise the decisions made by Police & Crime Commissioner John Campion, I can report that the Panel were as surprised as anyone else to learn of the decision to break away from the Warwickshire force, especially when the Panel’s members had to learn about it through the local press.
At a subsequent emergency meeting of the Police & Crime Panel held at Worcestershire County Hall on the 29th October, PCC John Campion was asked to explain what the grounds were on which he had based his decision to end the alliance with Warwickshire Constabulary, he was accompanied by West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham.
After 45 minutes of questioning by the panel, John Campion handed over to Anthony Bangham who, in the space of ten minutes, answered all the questions John Camption had failed to fully answer in the preceding three quarters of an hour.
I made the point that had the Commissioner handed the session over to the Chief Constable he would not only have saved his breath but saved himself and the panel the best part of an hour and that, moreover, had the Panel been informed several months ago of what the Chief Constable had so succintly explained, not only would we all have saved the best part of a morning but he and the Chief Constable would probably have gone to Warwickshire with our blessing. (Anyone can see the Police & Crime Panel in action by going to the webcast page on Worcestershire County Council’s web site below. The Chief Constable is at timing 41.44 and my contribution at 0.59 on the video timeline.)
What John Campion and Anthony Bangham have done makes eminent sense, but you need to know the facts before you can understand how much sense it all makes. It does need spelling out.